The Times, May 4, 2017
It’s a charming image – a small furry rodent handing out leaflets. However the word should be the informal ‘gofer’, meaning someone who is asked to ‘go for’ things, or a dogsbody.
And from the same piece:
Oh dear. One of the all-time great cliches.
Paterson, of Altrincham, Greater Manchester, was granted bail and is due to be sentenced in May.
BBC News Online, April 28, 2017
Given that this is April, it should say ‘next month’, not ‘May’.
The Times, April 27, 2017
After reading the intro, the average reader will be thinking: ‘Why will his footballing career be finished if he is banned for 18 months? Oh, he must be getting on a bit. So how old is he?’ But you have to wait until the fifth par to learn that he is 34. You should not leave the reader asking questions. In this case, all that is needed is to say in the second par ‘the 34-year-old Burnley midfielder’.
The Times, April 26, 2017
I have seen this odd expression a few times lately. You can either ‘set foot’ on something, or ‘step’ on to it. ‘Step foot’ is gibberish.
I don’t think you can have an ‘amount’ of photographers. The right word is ‘number’.
The Times, April 25, 2017
As far as I know, they don’t award medals for fourth place. The heading here should be
Sotherton upgraded to bronze
i newspaper, April 25, 2017
(48 words) The obvious unanswered question here is why are they felling it? It took a few seconds to find the answer: because it is dead. And isn’t the George Washington line more interesting than ‘Workers have started . . . ‘ or indeed ‘Crews started the task’? You can take it as read that a tree will be felled by workers. This is how I would do it:
A 600-year-old tree under which George Washington had a picnic is being felled. The white oak next to Basking Ridge Presbyterian church in Bernards, New Jersey, was declared dead last year. A 25ft sapling from one of its acorns is growing nearby. (44 words)
The heading is pedestrian. How about:
Farewell to the
The Times, April 24, 2017
In headlines, ‘as’ is a much-used but rather weary and feeble word. This heading would be much better turned round thus:
Outsiders sweep to victory
in new French revolution
i newspaper, April 24, 2017
I think it looks odd to have a present tense caption with ‘last week’ or ‘yesterday’. You can easily get round it by making it ‘Theresa May firing the election starting gun last week’.
The Times, April 24, 2017
Yes, they certainly do say it, over and over again. This really is an unimaginative way to end a story. It is a pretty safe bet that if you find yourself writing ‘as they say’ you are about to repeat a cliche.
Daily Express, April 21, 2017
A total like this is meaningless. In this case we are not given the tools to do the mental arithmetic to obtain an average length of sentence (which would convey something) until the ninth paragraph, and even then it is not a simple sum. This is how I would do it:
A gang who grabbed more than half a million pounds by blowing up cash machines have been jailed for up to 19 years each.
You don’t need to say ‘A judge has jailed . . .’ because that is the only way anyone is sent to prison. I wouldn’t put ‘in outrageous raids’ – to me, the intro speaks for itself.